Wednesday, August 1, 2007

You Have A TV In Your Office!

This is the famed TV, the reason kids like to stop by my office….

Kim and the kids went to the Botanical Gardens today, they brought our good friend Joseph Carragher (jr version) also.  Since the gardens are just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from my offices, they stopped by.  After zipping their lips, we got into my office, where I splurged and gave the little ones some gum.

Joseph: WOW!

Jerry: You like my office (I knew what the wow was for….wait for it, wait for it…..)

Joseph: You have a TV in your office!

Jerry: Indeed (I hit the remote, faces light up, voices go down)

Joseph: Demetrius, I bet your dad watches Nickelodeon all day long!

Demetrius looks at me, like I’m cheating on him or something…Is Daddy watching Nickelodeon in the office all day long?  Would he do that and not include me?

Too funny….


Posted by Jerry in 20:42:22 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Children’s Book: Autistic Planet

The front cover of the book Autistic Planet by Jennifer Elder (published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Last night we read the book Autistic Planet to Maya for the first time. She enjoyed it, the book was simple and to the point. She got it that some kids are ‘different’…though she still seems to be missing the point that her brother is autistic. Demetrius wanted a book about Clifford and a new comic book he got in the mail read to him earlier in the day.

That being said, after talking with Kim, here are our thoughts on the book:

  • This is a simple, easy-to-read book that could be read to a class of children. However, we think it would need to be read by an adult that can answer the ‘why’ type of questions that this story will prompt and he/she (adult) will also need to be able to interpret the examples within and apply them to the wee-ones in the reading circle. This begs the question – what real-world example would the adult use to explain? There is a page toward the end of the book that has this line, “We flap our wings and fly away.” Now, I got that reference immediately, and boy, we have a number of pictures of Demetrius doing exactly that. He might be flapping right now as I type (he is doing this less though, these days). Kim and I might not have a problem in our personal life or social circle pointing out that this is something that Demetrius does and is common among children with autism…but would it be appropriate for a teacher to do so in a public education setting? How would she/he give this example of what this means…if she/he can’t give specifics…does the line lend itself to imaginative play that many kids do? Is that confusing? Just something we discussed.
  • The book is a very easy rhyme and reader – though both Kim and I found the rhyming a touch disjointed the first time through, but that’s easily overcome.
  • We both like the ending message of understanding.
  • Is the hardcopy of the book worth $16.95? It probably could have been cut and sized smaller and still achieved visually as a picture book, but if you click the hyperlink I’ve embedded above, you’ll see that Amazon has copies a bit cheaper.
  • Finally, we liked it. Kim is going to bring it to school as one of the books that teachers have requested we bring in for possibly reading in class to help ‘understand’ autistic children. So this gets the Grasso thumbs up.

Definitely recommend taking a look at it if you happen by a bookstore, but I might also tell you to look around online to see if you can find it cheaper than the suggested retail price. As a parent of a child of elementary aged child, this is a book you should considering having on your shelf to share and help explain autism.

Posted by Jerry in 14:30:18 | Permalink | Comments Off